Around every 4 years there is a big change in members of curling teams, with a key person from BC going to Alberta, Alberta to Manitoba, and so forth, to make the team stronger and to typically to prepare for the next Winter Olympics. Winemakers seem to change fairly regularly whether they move to a different province or a different country, but in many cases it is within the same region, like the Okanagan. Today I received an announcement that winemaker Graham Pierce, who was previously at TIME Winery (plus others in BC over time), has moved to Kitsch Wines in Kelowna. Here is the press release about the move.
May 11th, 2020 at Kelowna, BC: Kitsch Wines is pleased to announce that Graham Pierce has joined their energetic team as Winemaker and General Manager. Graham has a colourful background teeming with experience and innovation. Many know him as the winemaker behind Black Hills Estate Winery and its famous Note Bene, a Bordeaux-style blend with many prestigious awards under its belt. “Quality is our number one objective at Kitsch, bringing Graham on board speaks to this and also paves the way for exciting new opportunities,” say Ria Kitsch, co-founder and proprietor of Kitsch Wines.
Pierce has a deep understanding of the Okanagan wine region alongside extensive experience in the business of operating a winery. This pairs with a lengthy and comprehensive viticulture and winemaking background. Pierce is British Columbia born and bred, growing up in Horseshoe Bay. He joined the Okanagan wine industry in the early 2000’s when he joined Summerhill Pyramid Winery as culinary director after many successful years spent in and around the Vancouver restaurant scene. At Summerhill he discovered a passion and interest in both winemaking and viticulture. While studying winemaking at Okanagan University College he worked as assistant winemaker at Mt. Boucherie Estate Winery before progressing to head winemaker in 2003. A unique opportunity came up in 2008 to join the project at Black Hills Estate Winery in Oliver, BC. He worked there for ten very successful years before joining Time Winery as Director of Wine. His passion for winemaking and viticulture paired with a love of culinary arts and hospitality, makes him a natural and exciting fit to work with the expanding team at Kitsch Wines.
Kitsch Wines is a young and edgy brand and Pierce is excited to incorporate his unique talents and flare into the mix. “I’ve had great respect for Ria and Trent since their ambitious launch of the winery” says Graham “I feel extremely fortunate to be joining the amazing team at Kitsch for the next step of the adventure.”
The timing is perfect; the winery is in the midst of planting a new acreage near its existing site on the East Kelowna bench that is also in the application stage for a new purpose-built winery. “As we look into the next chapters at Kitsch, we feel Graham brings the experience and skillset to help reach the ambitious goals we’ve set” says Ria.
As this talented new team looks towards a bright future and a new winery, their intentions continue to keep creating quality wines, provide guests with a unique experience and present their own spin on wine culture that challenges, inspires and celebrates the Okanagan.